6.09.2014

The Fish Call Worked!

I have been itching to ditch the kayak for a day and head to river with nothing but a fly rod and some flies. I decided, on Friday, that I would do just that if I can manage to get a few hours of free time on Sunday. Mother nature dumped a ton of rain on Saturday night which had me worried that my plans would have to be changed. I checked the USGS charts for the DPR and realized that the flow hadn't really gone up that much despite all that rain. Woohoo!!

I grabbed my waders, 6wt, fly boxes and headed to the river as I had originally planned. When I got there, I kicked myself in the butt a little when I realized that despite the very small increase in flow, the water was MUDDDDDDDDY.

Crap crap crap! I muttered aloud. I didn't really feel like going back home to grab the kayak so I headed into the water anyways. I puttered downstream for about ten minutes before agreeing with myself that this just wasn't going to work. "What to do, what to do", I thought. 

Ahh ha! I'll head upstream to the backwaters! Surely, there has to be some largemouth back there that are happily escaping the current. If not, there are ALWAYS carp back there. Off I went. 

As I headed up the narrow creek channel that empties from the backwater into the main river, I saw a rod tip dangling over the bank with the line in the water. "Are you kidding me?!" I have never seen anyone else back here before and was not happy to see someone there now. As I made my way towards the bank, the guy's head leaned forward to see who was coming. As soon I saw his face, I chuckled. It was my friend Shannon and his wife stalking some carp. Wheeeew! 

After a few pleasantries, we all hit the water. While we were all there, Shannon caught four or five catfish on the fly (which is something he has been trying to get for quite sometime), a smallmouth, and a mega crappie. Lisa got in on the action with a couple catfish of her own as well!! There were a ton of juvenile crayfish on the bottom so an olive and rust colored backstabber matched the hatch perfectly. 

Lisa doing battle with a catfish
I caught a crappie myself as well as a smallmouth. The smallmouth back here were kind of a surprise. Usually, they are in the main river and I had not caught any back here before. This hole never ceases to surprise me though. You honestly never know what you might be hooked up with back there. Before this day, I had caught carp, catfish, bluegill, largemouth, pike, and a bowfin. Now I have added crappie and smallmouth to the tally back here. 

They left about an hour later and I stayed back to wait for the topwater bite to turn on. While waiting for that, I decided to tie on a tiny clouser for a change of pace from the smaller bottom fly and was quickly rewarded. Before switching over to topwater, I was rewarded with fifteen smallmouth, three crappie, four largemouth, and bluegill all on the same fly. Nothing was really big but plenty were big enough to be fun. As sunset approached, I switched over to top water and never got anything going with it. I only gave it about twenty minutes before calling it a day as there were things to do at home and I was hungry. 

Here's a few more pics of some fishes



^^A clear sign that the smallmouth are indeed spawning in the Des Plaines River^^






12 comments:

  1. I really miss that river.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's truly a gem hidden in plain site. It's poor history and consequential reputation definitely precedes it. On one hand it's great because it keeps the masses at bay. On the other hand, more popularity could result in even more focus and care.

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  2. Very nice outing, man. I've been itching to get my waders wet, and not from my sitting in my kayak, as well. That's really cool that you ran into your friend and his wife out there. What size clouser were you tossing/

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    Replies
    1. Yeah it felt good to go back to what I am most comfortable with. I feel that I am most in my element when wading and slinging flies.

      The clouser was a very small size 8

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  3. Great report! Love the various species. Things look good for the Des Plaines indeed! Wish I was there.

    Gregg

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    Replies
    1. Well, Gregg, if you ever find yourself out this way for whatever reason, let me know!!

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  4. Pretty sure you can add redeye bass (the one you figured as a juvy SMB) to your list out of that hole. They don't get big but they probably hit harder than SMB and LMB pound for pound.

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    Replies
    1. That would be pretty crazy if it were a red eye as Im nowhere near the native range of them. From what I've read, those are mostly in southern states like Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.

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  5. Nice job not letting the conditions deter you. Many a time I have turned right around and left when my initial plan doesn't seem perfect. Hopefully, I will remember this post next time that happens.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Adam. In all honesty, I think it was more of a laziness thing than not letting conditions deter me but I like your way of saying it much better!

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  6. Well, it was enjoyable to see you get out of the kayak and stalk by foot. And I'd say you had a good plan after all. Nice post. Is the river as pretty as I remember it?

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    Replies
    1. Not at all!!! Completely different river that is no longer a sewage canal. It's also completely dam free now!!!

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